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TOUR: Key Food Supermarkets - Norwalk, CT

Key Food Supermarkets
Owner: Anthony Peña
Opened: 2016
Previous Tenants: City Supermarkets (2007-2016)
Cooperative: Key Food Stores
Location: 717 West Ave, Norwalk, CT
Photographed: May 2019
We arrive in downtown Norwalk for a store tour at our second CityMarket Key Food (this one is actually co-branded with the two names, while Bridgeport only has that on the monument sign). The owners also briefly operated a store just over the border in Port Chester, NY. This store's central downtown location is likely quite advantageous to it. I don't know much history of this approximately 9,000 square foot supermarket, but the facade looks vaguely like a drugstore facade. We enter to find a large produce department, with meat running along the first aisle. Beyond that I honestly do not remember the layout, although I believe dairy is in the last aisle with butcher and deli on the back wall.
As we'll see, this store seems to do big business. Not only is it very cramped, as you can see, but every shelf is absolutely packed with stock. The produce department has a very large variety for such a small location.
Nonfoods hanging above the produce cases. Every inch of space is maximized!
An overview of the produce department.
As I said, I believe meats line the first grocery aisle. These cases are likely secondhand, unless perhaps this is in fact a very old supermarket that was only bought out by City Supermarkets in 2007. You can also notice the mirror lining the opposite wall, which I believe is only a mirror and there are no offices behind it. It's possible that's also left from a previous tenant, because it can't be all that useful with how cramped the store is now with merchandise stacked everywhere.
Very clean and well-stocked, if extremely narrow, grocery aisles.
Unusual to see health and beauty in a grocery aisle like this. In these small urban stores, it's typically placed on the front wall or behind customer service to maximize grocery shelving space and deter shoplifting of typically high-priced items.
Very large butcher counter. Clearly this store does a big perishables business. Deli is just around the corner...
Notice the Boar's Head next to the specialty Latin American cheeses. A very nice mixture of basic groceries and international items in this store.
Dairy and some frozen foods in the last aisle. I'm not remembering where the rest of frozen is.
"Thank you shopping with us!" A nice sentiment, if perhaps not entirely grammatically correct. Notice yet another mirror on this wall buried behind more merchandise. I've been in old drugstores that have the large mirror on the back wall and a smaller one in the front corner. Was this previously a drugstore?
Here's one last look across the front-end before we head out. Notice the additional dairy case of specialty Latin dairy products here too. That's all for downtown Norwalk's only supermarket, come back soon to see the two grocery stores in South Norwalk (or SoNo)!

Comments

  1. The facade feels somewhat Rite Aid-like to me, but I really can't be sure. In any case, it does seem like you're onto something concerning the possible drugstore past.

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    1. Exactly, I think Rite Aid is a likely candidate.

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  2. Not knowing for sure, but between the design and that mirror (is that the "back" wall, opposite where either the entry is now, or where it may have been from the front, under the Key Foods sign on the opposite side of the corner from the current doors?), I'd suspect Rite Aid. They were known to have those mirrors across the back in their older stores, and you could see most of the store as they didn't have such high shelving as the current tenants do. Also seems like the right size store for them.

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    1. Yes, if (like Key Food) Rite Aid had their front end along the front wall of the store, facing the street and not the parking lot that is, the mirror would be along the back wall. That along with the other points you mention makes it feel very much like a former Rite Aid.

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